Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 4, 2014 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT

4:00 pm
oslo, the diaspora was once connected with the -- deeplyrative has been affected by the zionist narrative and the language imposed upon us. we are made to believe we must fight for peace instead of justice. they were -- they replace our struggle with endless negotiations. they try to soil the words that we hold sacred. these words will always be sacred because they belong to the oppressed. empower us and strike fear into the hearts of cowards. people of resistance and we need to rebuild our culture of resistance. we did not trade our right of return for pragmatism. some of our leaders may have traded in fear -- are still in the streets exercising their rights to racist colonial domination.
4:01 pm
resist colonial domination. issa rending to the language of peace, we have handcuffed the means in which people back home can resist. -- by surrendering to the language of peace, we have handcuffed the means in which people back home can resist. in being mindful of our language, we will protect and reinforce our narrative. for this reason, resistance in this country will start with the tongue. believe that we must separate our nationality from our other identities. this is a symptom of repression. it doesn't matter if you are an academic, health care provider, athlete, or other professional, our right to resist has been edged into our very dna. destroy the false boundaries that destroyed your identities and keep palestine light on your tongue.
4:02 pm
we must ask how this situation has gone 66 years unchecked. wiser that we have righteousness on our side yet are always portrayed -- why is it that we have righteousness on our side yet are always for trade as the aggressors question mark we have had the zionist narrative so imposed on us that we beingrtently reinforce it -- being pragmatic does not make you -- we are told the right to talkt could be -- our about the writer is it should be kept at the dinner table. meanwhile, we have to listen to the constant affirmation that israel has a right to defend itself. the only reason they get away with this ludicrous rhetoric is because, one, they are unwilling to deviate from their narrative, and because we play an audience to this the we must resist the zionist entity at every turn. they must know their presence is not welcome anywhere that values justice.
4:03 pm
the setting what may be. there is no room for a diverse city of opinion on human rights -- diversity of opinion on human rights. -- ures of resistance if you support the death and instruction of another people, you should be prepared to face the consequences -- death and destruction of another people, you should be prepared to face the consequences. they don't realize with every bomb dropped and bullet fire, the fire in our hearts gross -- grows hotter. it will grow to a point where it can no longer be contained. we will break the yoke of colonial rule. some of our brothers and sisters will be liberated by appealing to those in the state department, the department of defense, or the hill. palestine will be liberated by our youth and our allies. no oppressed people will have -- have ever been liberated by the
4:04 pm
state. the state is inherently repressive by its very nature. we may be standing in front of the white house, but i am not here speaking so that obama may hear me. obama didn't do anything for black kids in chicago and he is not going to do anything for our kids in palestine. [applause] this is a call for palestine to be light on your tongue. this is a call to reclaim our narrative. this is a call for the annihilation of mental colonization. this is a call for the equality of all, and the supremacy of none. [applause] >> thank you, thank you, tareq radi, from students against israeli apartheid. i want to bring up someone next to was integral in putting this together. up to greatly, the national director of american muslim alliance. thank you.
4:05 pm
in the name of a law -- of al lah, most gracious, most merciful. they make right peace -- may cr y, peace, peace. but there is no peace. is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased as to be purchased at the price of change in slavery? forbid it, almighty god, for i know not what other cry and cause -- give me liberty or give me death. [applause] my dear brothers and sisters, let me say -- some people are upset, they say be careful, don't criticize the president. you may not get invited to the white house. you might not get an invitation to go have dinner at the white house. let me tell you something -- i don't care if i never go to the , ife house if a palestinian
4:06 pm
a palestinian can't live in faith and dignity and liberty in their house. i don't care. dignity withy my some rice and lamb and hummus. just because you're at the table doesn't mean you are a diner. you might be a waiter without a menu. we are standing. we are standing and we are going to stand with dr. kane, -- dr. standing up toas the president when the vietnam war was going on. he said that the coward may ask is it safe. sanity in politics may ask is it popular. ask is itence will right. is it right? no, it is not right.
4:07 pm
it is not right. it is not right that for over six decades the palestinian people have known nothing but oppression and dispossession. it is not right and we are going to stand up today. we are going to stand up and say that we have a right to stand up end theand the -- occupation now. end the occupation now. i will be brief and say to you, we are going to raise all the voices that we have here. we are going to raise the voices of jewish communities, muslim communities, christian communities, non-religious affiliation communities. we are going to raise all the voices and lift every voice and ringtill earth and heaven with the harmony of liberty and
4:08 pm
faith in the rising sun, for our new day has begun. we will march on till palestine is free and victory is won. free palestine. [applause] >> free, free palestine. >> free, free palestine. >> end the occupation now. occupation now. >> i have the pleasure and honor of introducing our next speaker, all the way from new york city, a labor trafficking survivor, leader of a filipina domestic workers association. please welcome her. [applause]
4:09 pm
>> greeting from the migrant workers. [applause] a filipinacatina, domestic worker and labor trafficking survivor. inare here to stand solidarity with the people of palestine in gaza. [applause] condemn theto do -- tragic loss of palestinian lives and call it what it is -- massacre by israel, funded and supported by the u.s. are migrant workers from the philippines. are caregivers for the elderly. we have been forced from our
4:10 pm
forced to go abroad as .igrant workers [indiscernible] [indiscernible] we have a common enemy with the palestinian people. our common enemy is the u.s.-backed occupation. our hearts go out to strugglings who are and resisting u.s.-israeli occupation. we stand with the people of the ssacre inanding end ma
4:11 pm
gaza. end the israel occupation. israel.. aid to from the river to the sea, palestine will be free! [indiscernible] you. [applause] >> brothers and sisters, i want to remind you the american muslim alliance has these postcards we will send to obama. we want them to go out saying "end the occupation." we have thousands of them. please do not leave without
4:12 pm
signing those postcards. with the muslim american alliance as we stand with the people in gaza and palestine. thank you so much. free palestine! yourothers and sisters, can't see it, but i can see it. we are starting to fill up the whole part on all sides, going all the way back -- whole park on all sides, going all the way back. i just got a text message from someone saying they are on the metro on the way here with a train full of people coming to join this protest. so, we are only getting stronger and we will have a few more speakers. we've got a hold on for a little bit to let our other brothers and sisters get here to be part of when we march. next, i want to bring up a friend of mine, a strong fighter in this struggle, vice chair of the national black united front. palestine.
4:13 pm
the national black united front stands in solidarity with the palestinians right to self-determination. let me hear you say self-determination. if the government can send millions of dollars to israel to bomb palestine, they can send some money to get water in detroit, right? they can send some money to southeast d.c., right? in black united front stands solidarity with oppressed people all around the world, especially in palestine. selfdetermination, defense, and the right to control their land. we stand in solidarity and say free palestine. free palestine. free palestine. black power. [applause] >> free, free palestine. >> free, free palestine. sisters, thend next person i want to bring up here is a very powerful brother,
4:14 pm
someone who has turned against the evils of this country that is waging wars all over the place. he is in iraq war veteran. he stands up against american injustice all around the world. >> free, free palestine. >> free, free palestine. >> free, free palestine. >> free, free palestine. >> thank you, sisters and brothers. like eugene said, i'm a member of the party for socials and liberation. i want to tell you about a story of how i ended up here. right now, there is a shift happening in the united states. ibo who never thought about -- people whore never thought about palestine before our joining us in the streets, knowing what is happening is a crime. we would have never imagined they would have taken that position before. i went to iraq in 2003, just
4:15 pm
like so many people who joined the military. i grew up like everyone else, believing what we are told, believing this was a country of, four, and by the people, that we are about freedom and helping the oppressed. i believe that when we were going to iraq and saying things like self, words like israel uses. words that israel uses. i had to think as people started protesting, as people started fighting, as people started resisting. i had to ask myself what would i be doing. when our officers and commanders , our politicians were telling us they were resisting because they are terrorists, they are evil, they are less than human -- i thought, what would i do if it was my home? if it was my country, my family that was destroyed?
4:16 pm
if it was my brother that was killed? if i was there, i would be resisting, too. they were my sisters and brothers. they had the right to resist when people are occupying. -- areople are occupying occupied, resistance is justified. when people are occupied, resistance is justified. when people are occupied, resistance is justified. reason the u.s. went to iraq was not because of self-defense or freedom of democracy. they went to iraq because they want to control the entire region, not for us, but for banks and corporations, oil companies, through violence and domination. that's why they support israel. itn they can't justify why, is because they want to control that region. they use that vicious attack dog to do it. we can stop them. let's stay fighting. [applause] we arehers and sisters,
4:17 pm
holding on for a few more people to join us. we will bring up a couple more speakers. i want to bring up a representative of veterans for peace. brothers and sisters, i just want to say i'm a u.s. military veteran that has been lied to just like what mike said. many of us have been lied to. i want to say that the government does not represent me. that u.s. government which has lied to us, which is complicit in murder, which is complicit in war crimes -- does not represent me. neither does the state of israel represent me. i just came from the veterans for peace national convention in asheville, north carolina, and i'm very proud to say that we passed a really strong resolution unanimously in support of palestinians in gaza. i want to read you a couple of
4:18 pm
things from it. as veterans who have witnessed the four of war, we are deeply war, we arer of deeply troubled by the loss of those in gaza, like the girl who lost her entire family when her home was bombed by israel, and the many young children who have been orphaned, if not killed or injured. we join millions of people around the globe who are shocked by the vicious, one-sided slaughter. we understand that high injustice of the israeli occupation. we call on israel to stop the slaughter now. stop the slaughter now. power to the people. free palestine. free gaza. thank you. >> thank you for being here. next i want to bring up from the
4:19 pm
--estinian american council >> on behalf of the palestinian american council and its 11 chapters across the country, i welcome you all here. we have come across these united states to be here, to tell the obama administration that we must stand up against occupation . we must stand against oppression . we must stand against injustice. we must stand against apartheid. [applause] we have come with bleeding , with, with tearing eyes the wilderness minds and screaming souls at the .trocities committed by israel
4:20 pm
we are consumed with anger and frustration and indignation and the policy of this white house that allows israel to defend itself, but does not recognize that the palestinians have an international right to resist the occupation. [applause] perplexed that no one in conference thee false israel he claims that it is occupying palestine and gaza. when israel controls palestine's territorial airspace, land, and sea, it is occupying palestine -- and as anupier occupier, they must protect those occupied under international law. they cannot claim defense. free, free palestine. >> free, free palestine. >> free, free palestine.
4:21 pm
>> free, free palestine. [applause] >> next up, brothers and sisters, i want to bring up someone from the labor fight back network. >> could afternoon, sisters and brothers, power to the people. greetings from new jersey. i'm representing the labor fight back network. we're proud to be here in support of the palestinian people. we are here to speak up against injustice. silence is complicity. we will never remain silent in the face of these horrendous crimes against humanity. this brutal war crime -- these brutal war crimes. the death toll in operation protective edge has already surpassed the death toll of -- words are simply insufficient to express our sorrow, our anger at the ultra cities -- at the atrocities being committed
4:22 pm
against the palestinians. i'm sure all of you have been crying tears of rage -- yes, tears of rage. we understand that israel's massive assault is not about defense, it's about the annihilation of the palestinians. annihilation which has been going on for decades. we are here in solidarity with all palestinians in gaza and the west bank and with palestinian refugees scattered around the world. we are here especially to denounce loudly the u.s. government's on questioning support for israel. this unthinking, this unthinking, blind support for israel is immoral and illegal. u.s. support for israel says to the world that the u.s. has a shocking disregard for human life and for international humanitarian law. how can the u.s. stand by and watch the killing of innocent children on the beach for
4:23 pm
shelling of hospitals and u.n. schools, the bombardment of homes and mosques, killing entire families in one fell swoop, the destruction of power plants and water supplies, this indiscriminate attack on nothing but collective -- and water supplies? these indiscriminate attacks are nothing but collective punishment. collective punishment is not the path to peace. we are here to demand that obama and john kerry and congress force israel to stop the bombing . can the u.s. stop the bombing? yes, we have the power. cut off the funds. cut off all funding. cut off the funds. don't send any more arms. let gaza live. let gaza live. >> thank you so much. let gaza live. tothers and sisters, i want bring about brother who brought a lot of people here from ohio.
4:24 pm
we also want to mention some of the people we have with us here. we are happy to have you. up. on >> i am coming here today not just to be in solidarity with the palestinian people. i am the palestinian people. this is our struggle. obama on thell right side here where the white house is at that the palestinian people have a right to defend themselves. they have a right to resist israeli federalism. gaza has had tunnels inside the gaza strip since alexander the great. resistance is nothing new in palestine.
4:25 pm
we will resist with everything we have, with all of our might, from gaza, from the west bank, in ramallah, in the united states, in ireland -- all over the world. we will resist. [applause] outnt to give a big shout to the 200 people that came from cleveland, ohio, with me here today on over three buses. we have held seven demonstrations, seven consecutive weeks, and we demand -- not coming here to plead -- we demand the end of the bombings on the gaza strip. long live palestine. >> long live palestine. >> free, free palestine. >> free, free palestine. >> from the river to the sea. >> from the river to the sea. >> palestine will be free. >> palestine will be free. >> long live palestine. >> thank you, my brother.
4:26 pm
we are getting ready to start our march. we will have two people finally say something. we have a very important event happening. they are fighting against the unbelievably racist and unjust immigration system that we have. they will be doing an event here. we want to start our march and give them their time. i want to give someone who has spent many years in solidarity with the palestine's -- with palestine a chance. >> if you think of the middle , youin this modern time can't help but say the word -- palestine. ♪ people there have lost their land some have lost their home they live in other countries their freedom almost gone palestine
4:27 pm
>> ♪ palestine >> ♪ needs her freedom >> ♪ needs her freedom >> ♪ palestine >> ♪ palestine >> ♪ needs our love palestine needs her freedom lovetine needs our all countries-- of every race and creed we need a new beginning let us plant the seed plant the seed of love and let that love seed grow plant the seed for everyone so all the world will now =-- know that palestine needs her freedom palestine needs our love neds ou -- needs our love
4:28 pm
palestine needs her freedom ♪ur love ♪eeds [applause] >> mothers and sisters, i wanted sisters, i and wanted to give a quick message that we are joined in this crowd by a woman who lost her sister to the israel apartheid. we thank her for being with us. i want to bring one final speaker to close us out. the international representative of the nation of islam. >> before he speaks, and we give the stage over to those who are fighting for immigrant rights,
4:29 pm
it turns out they are here also -- as he is starting to speak, we are going to begin marching on that side of the park. as soon as you think he is done or almost done, let's begin to march. thank you very much. >> thank you. in the name of allah, the beneficent and merciful. i know we are over time. i am the international representative for minister louis farrakhan and the nation of islam. the minister send you his love and greetings. if he was not faced with health challenges, he would they -- be with you on this stage, lifting his voice against the slaughter
4:30 pm
going on in gaza. at sea represents a ship without a captain at the helm. whichever way the wind blows, of the winds are the handle barack obama, who we loved when he came to office. what for him to show weakness in the face of the slaughter in gaza is appalling. we need to say, barack, be your own man. you know it is wrong. you know what people are suffering. you are looking at it on the news every night. you know that collective punishment is against the law. you know the israelis have a design. three wars in five years, killing at least 2000 palestinians each time in order to decimate their ranks. but he also knows that every time a palestinian child watches his family wiped out -- do you think he will, and say i will forgive you, america? it is going to be in his blood that i must take revenge for
4:31 pm
what has happened to my people. the palestinian people must resist. look at the weakness of egypt. on monday, the heads of state from all over africa will be here. they should take a page from 1973 when they were told, send your israeli ambassador home and bring your ambassador back. close the embassy to show the protest. they need to show that strength today. if barack sees that the world is upset with him standing by -- one more thing i want to say. when he came out to a press conference for the ukraine crisis, he started off by saying israel has the right to defend itself. israel has the right to kill babies. israel has the right to kill old men and women and wipe out entire families. no. it is absolutely wrong. we must lift our voices. free palestine, free gaza.
4:32 pm
thank you. >> >all right. ok, brothers and sisters, the international minister of the nation of islam, we thank him. we will start to march onto your left, my right. we are going out this way. we would like to thank the rabbi as well for bringing out his congregation. thank you so much for being here. we are on our way out. moving this direction. i can't hear you. we've got to move. we are marching out this way to go to "the washington post." turn and go to your left. next, we will bring up a very important rally, a very important message against a criminal immigration system and the terrible tragedy happening there. they are fighting back every day across the country. we are proud to share the stage with them. i welcome them to the stage to take over and do their thing.
4:33 pm
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> the national association of latino elected officials held its annual meeting in san diego earlier this year. labor secretary tom perez spoke about his visit to a school serving the needs of minority students and their problems with law enforcement. >> when i was in the civil rights division, i traveled the country and i saw all too frequently that there were too many school district's that remained, so many years after brown thomas separate and unequal -- brown, separate and unequal. i saw the school to prison pipeline result for brak and -- black and brown kids all too frequently -- access to opportunity being denied. being denied remarkably and curb her sleep. i did an event -- and per
4:34 pm
versely. i did an event in mississippi with 10 kids sitting on the dais like me. i could see under the table their footwear. what they all had in common was that they had an ankle bracelet on. they were kids 13 and 14 already in the system. i asked what did you do. one person had the wrong color tie. one had the wrong color socks. one person spoke out. one person was guilty of flatulence. i'm not kidding. i'm not making this up. that got them into the school to prison pipeline. secretary's of the remarks. we will show them in their entirety from the national association of latino elected officials tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span. "thenight on communicators," three members of congress talk about their technology legislation.
4:35 pm
open internet, free internet, without government intervention. look where the internet has come and where it is going in the future. this is all being done on the private sector. want theird they not team exposed, their brand exposed to tens of thousands of people? we think that the blackout rule is obsolete. the ftc took the first move. they will vote finally at the end of this year. we believe the intel will follow soon. >> a bill that tries to address concerns over must carry andriy -- mustetransmission carry and retransmission must be able to negotiate. it puts people on a level playing field when it comes to those kinds of negotiations. >> republican representative bob latta, new york republican
4:36 pm
damage -- and cory gardner tonight at 8:00 eastern on "the communicators." >> while congress is in recess for the month, watch programs from american history tv in prime time. tonight, a look at watergate. supreme court oral argument from the case in 1974. at issue, whether or not president nixon could claim executive privilege over the recordings sought by the watergate prosecutor. that is tonight on c-span three. on c-span2, book tv in prime time starting at 8:30 with books on the middle east. "the new arabs." "taking david into goliath how the world turned against israel>" -- israel."
4:37 pm
earlier today, african leaders met in washington, d.c., to talk about the impact of african growth and opportunity act on trade and investment. several people made remarks, including the world bank president and the secretary of state. they spoke for about 45 minutes. >> good morning, everybody. , my name isegates mike frohman. i serve as the u.s. trade representative kirk year it on behalf of president obama asked trade representative. -- i serve as the u.s. trade
4:38 pm
representative. on behalf of president obama i welcome you. it takes face on the eve of the first ever u.s. africa leaders summit, the theme of which is investing in the next generation. this takes place just over a year before the exploration -- expiration of a legislation authorizing agoa. this meeting provides a unique and timely opportunity to u.s. africa, the trade and investment relationship, and how to develop both further. i'd like to open this by first im and hisresident k colleagues at the world bank for hosting us here president kim -- hosting us. president kim has dedicated his life to serving underserved occupation's worldwide -- underserved populations worldwide. thank you for your hospitality. we look forward to working with
4:39 pm
you and your colleagues at the world bank. you.e turn it over to >> thank you very much. i'm very happy to be here today with you. importantthese discussions on united states african growth and opportunity act. i will make two points before turning over to our keynote speakers. the first is a reminder that african countries have enormous potential to expand trade in order to arrive -- drive growth, reduce poverty, and deliver jobs . companies must find the right approach is to take advantage of opportunities to greatly expand trade within africa and throughout the world. one opportunity is in the light manufacturing sector, which could help african countries in terms of industrialization, export diversification, and job creation. recent analysis from our group
4:40 pm
suggests that if this sector rose and in africa -- rose in africa as it did in east asia, it could create 7 million new jobs on the continent. expiration of agriculture and --ibusiness is essential to exploration of agriculture and agribusiness is essential to reducing poverty. agoa helps african countries diversify their exports and move away from dependence on minerals and commodities to reach more diversified and inclusive sources of export growth. agoa has played a key role in exploit -- in the apparel sector. it attracts foreign investments and generate new jobs. in madagascar are, thanks to apparel accounts for a larger share of exports than any other industry.
4:41 pm
my second point is that in order for african countries to realize their export potential and take full advantage of agoa, they must address several constraints. one is an infrastructure challenge. poortudies show that the state of infrastructure in sub-saharan africa, including electricity, water, roads, cuts by two's economic growth percentage points each year and reduces productivity by as much as 40%. there are training industries dedicated to the apparel -- there are few training industries dedicated to the apparel industry. policy reforms are needed to improve trade and competitiveness and support the development of competitive firms .cross the value chain's we believe it will be critical to reduce barriers to regional integration of goods and the and
4:42 pm
investment. -- goods and services and investment. we are building regional economic integration efforts in both the great lakes and the -- region of africa. more intense immigration will give african firms the opportunity to exploit nearby markets, gain knowledge and experience, achieve economies of scale, and increase competitiveness in the u.s. and in global markets. a range of nontariff and regulatory barriers still raise the transaction costs and limit the movement of goods, services, people, and capitals across border -- capital across border. africa is integrated with the rest of the world faster than within its own borders. the cost of these regional trade barriers fall disproportionately on the poor. building better regional linkages means more than simply removing tariffs. it's about investing world -- real world change.
4:43 pm
will continuegoa beyond 2015. we also hope it strengthens so that africa's doors to trade with the world open even more widely. for that to happen, i urge you to focus your discussions on a few key proposals, including increasing product coverage, relaxing rules of origin for non-apparel products, and recognizing the special needs of fragile states. agoacould ensure that expandfrican economies their exports even more. we are committed to engaging -- to helping african firms use agoa and other trade programs to propel exports to the united states and across the world. it's my great pleasure and honor to welcome secretary kerry, who was my senator for years when i lived in massachusetts. dating back to at least 1990, he has been calling on the united
4:44 pm
states leadership and world leaders to promote international trade, specifically for africa. it is a great honor to have you here. we look forward to your remarks. >> president kim, thank you very much for your welcome. welcome to all of you here. i appreciate the substance of your comments and i appreciate your generous comments regarding my privilege in being here. we are thrilled to welcome everybody here to this particular discussion and many others that are going to take face. i need to beg your indulgence at the beginning of my comments -- to take place. i need to beg your indulgence at the beginning of my comments because i have a series with so many presidents that i am beginning a marathon of meetings this morning, as well as trying
4:45 pm
to fit in the number of events that we have. i know you will understand. i thank you for your tremendous leadership of the bank and for hosting us here today. i want you all to know that one of the things i admire most about dr. kim is that wherever he has been in his life, whatever leadership role he has served in, this has been a man willing to challenge the status quo. that was true when he found innovative ways to deliver health care in the partners in health. it was true when he applied himself to finding new ways to provide care for hiv and aids at the world health organization. when i was in the senate, i did some work with him on that. it was true when he balanced the budget and led dartmouth through its critical transition. we welcome his leadership.
4:46 pm
what i think many of you may not know is that when he was in high school, he was a quarterback. those of you who know american football have to just imagine what it was like for this young guy about 10 years after he arrived in america. he was facing down big miss what -- big midwestern linebackers. there is no better preparation for today's world and life than that. a few decades later, he was working -- revolutionizing how hiv and aids was going to be dealt with. i was in the senate. we were working then to try to find a way to create stronger , particularly of sub-saharan africa. jim mcdermott, a former foreign service officer and member of congress at the time, we discussed creative ideas about
4:47 pm
how to break down barriers to trade, while at the same time lifting up the standards for governance and transparency. those -- the result of those early efforts was the advocate of growth and opportunity act that president clinton signed into law in the last months of his presidency. for 14 years now, as michael fernwood said, this is the 13th meeting annually, but for 14 years ago has been one of the primary tools to push forward greater trade and investment in africa. it is working. we have seen imports from the agoa nations grow by 300%. whether it is coco and cashews orcocoa and cashews petrochemical products, agoa has served as a catalyst for greater trade and prosperity and has helped promote greater protections for the african workforce.
4:48 pm
we do have some of our own interests on the line here, too. i say it up front. agoa has made it possible for company tord motor export engines duty-free -- south africa, where ford has invested over $300 million so they can supply engines worldwide. the efficiencies of that operation have allowed for it to create 800 new jobs at their kansas city plant as part of the global production line. this is how it works. this is what africa is witnessing now. something like 10 of the 15 fastest-growing countries in the world are in africa. house,y one of the white president obama's number one priority has been creating strong middle class jobs here at home, but the president has always understood that the best way to do that is to strengthen our international economic ties
4:49 pm
and foster broad growth globally. everybody here understands how interconnected we all are. our populations are increasingly walking around with mobile devices. everybody is connected to everybody every moment of the day. that is changing the way people think. it is changing their sense of possibilities and changing aspirations and changing realities of politics on the ground. president obama has said africa is a new center of global growth . since 2000, banking assets have more than doubled. the telecommunications market has doubled since 2004 alone. we know that africa will have a larger workforce the name dior india ororkforce van china-- workforce than india or china by 2040.
4:50 pm
increasing number of people who, because of today's interconnectedness, are demanding their part in the future. that is much of what is happening. it is young people that motivated and energized the initiatives initially, because of their sense of desire, frustration for the possibilities of the future. it is time to build a more open exchange of ideas. to build our capacity for innovation. agoa is one of the best tools, vital tools for pushing forward the dramatic transformation we are seeing today in parts of
4:51 pm
.frica this is clearly a moment of opportunity for all africans. it is also, i say to you frankly, a moment of decision, because it is the decisions that division -- the decisions that are deferred will ultimately determine whether africa mines the continents greatest natural resource of oil not platinum or gold or -- the talent, the capacity, and aspirations of its people. the entire administration wants to unleash the potential for the benefit of the people of africa and to create greater prosperity for the world. president obama has committed to .hat transformation with a seamless renewal of agoa, the question is will we continue to create shared prosperity? of theh the people
4:52 pm
united states and for africa and all the others who benefit as a consequence. that is the bottom line of what we are working to achieve today. what we will work towards in anticipation of next year, in anticipation of the for him -- t he forum in gabon, is to achieve this goal. i say unabashedly we want and we will work hard to get more american companies to invest in africa. more african companies to invest here in the united states, and there is no reason that they shouldn't. africa iss today increasingly a destination for american investment and tourism. african institutions are increasingly leading efforts to solve african problems. thatf this underscores rheumatic transformation is possible -- that rheumatic transformation is possible -- that dramatic transformation is
4:53 pm
possible. collaboration can triumph over conflict. so, we know that our cooperation, all of us, is essential to promote economic growth that can be shared by all africans. i will say to you, fighting corruption is a definitive critical part of that process. to do so will take courage. and yes, it sometimes means assuming risk. liftsghting corruption balancen the country's sheet. transparency and accountability attract greater investment. transparency and account to be -- and accountability create a more competitive marketplace, marked by merit, not by a backroom deal or bribe. the market works better with transparency, with sunshine of accountability.
4:54 pm
that's an environment where innovators and entrepreneurs can flourish, and i guarantee you it is an environment where capital makes a decision to move according to its sense of security and sense of risk. so, ladies and gentlemen, africa can be the marketplace of the future. africa has the resources, the capacity, the know-how. the questions africa faces are similar to those in countries all over the world. is there the political will? the sense of common purpose to address challenges? are we all prepared together to make the hard choices that those challenges require? we firmly believe, and i think you will sense, those of you who are here for the next three days , at the end of this summit, these meetings, i believe you will have a clearer sense of the
4:55 pm
fullness of the commitment of president obama and the obama administration and the united states to the notion that africa is a natural partner of the united states and vice versa. we believe that the united states can be a vital catalyst in africa's continued transformation. it is exciting. the possibilities are and lists. we look forward to work -- are endless. we look forward to you to work to the fullness of those possibilities. i would like to reintroduce the person who opened this. he has been working on these things, the ties between united states and africa, for a long time. department, atry the national security council, at citibank, and now as president obama's principal advisor on international trade, the ambassador. thanks, michael. [applause]
4:56 pm
secretary.u, mr. thank you for joining us. we are fortunate to have secretary kerry and the state department -- he has been a tremendous advocate for trade with africa and economic policy more generally. to the esteemed ministers from our partner countries, to those honorable members of congress, u.s. government colleagues, public and private sector supporters of the act, welcome. as i learned in africa, let me say "all protocol observed." our predecessors have gathered, representing more than people, carrying
4:57 pm
many flags, speaking many languages for one reason -- the promise of trade. agoa is a powerful reminder of that promise. since it was enacted, agoa has been the cornerstone of u.s. trade policy with sub-saharan africa. the first full year of agoa to the last, u.s. imports from agoa countries have grown threefold, more than $26 billion per year. nonoil imports have increased fourfold. agoa has contributed to the diversification and competitiveness of sub-saharan african economies and has supported hundreds of thousands of jobs across the continent. what this cannot capture is the importance of these opportunities for families and individuals. fromd states has benefited agoa as well, not just in the stability of -- that comes with increased global prosperity, but also from the market opportunities that accompany africa's rise.
4:58 pm
u.s. 200, u.s. -- 2000, exports to sub-saharan africa have increased fourfold. last year, they supported nearly 120,000 american jobs. as that grows, our economic futures will become even more intertwined. africa's trajectory mitch -- means the theme, investing in the next generation, applies as much in the united states as it does in africa. our shared future will be brighter by an angola -- agoa that is not only renewed but improved. it will send a signal to purchasers of products in industries that are already making a decision about next year, in some cases many years in the future. if we are to renew our commitment, the more likely they will do the same. improving agoa is critical. despite the concrete benefits that agoa has brought to both of our continents, it is clear that
4:59 pm
more can and must be done. although not all exports have increased by four fold, last year's total of $5 billion remains small both in absolute terms and as a share of u.s. imports. while we are seeking countries start to branch out and use agoa for more products, there is still much room to grow in nonoil, manufacturing, and value added products from agoa countries. adapting agoa requires it to the changes that occurred in the year 2000, applying the lessons we've learned, and anticipating where the current trends will take us. it is clear that the africa of 2014 is not the africa of 2000. many of you are moving away from unilateral references and entering into trade agreements with partners in the european union which require reciprocal access. we cannot keep agoa in isolation. we have conducted a review of agoa that asks not only how agoa
5:00 pm
was working him a but also how it fits into the broader arc of our trade and development policy. we relied on the input of u.s. and african stakeholders in the sector, and among our findings, one observation is clearer than the rest. we need to do more than focus on tariff preferences. agoa must beago -- linked slowly. we are looking for a compact supported by the industries and backed by international partners. today's next ordinary opportunity to begin filling in towardsils and begin trade, growth, and a moment. consider the challenges that
5:01 pm
many countries face and -- at borders and ports. corruption and gas and infrastructure can make the time associated with shipping twice that of coming out of asia or latin america. and that impinges upon the competitiveness of african progress -- products and development. is an opportunity to multiply the benefits of agoa through the wto. trade facilitation standards,fa, allows for laminating red tape at the border. includes pathbreaking uniquees and deals with circumstances. allows for resources in
5:02 pm
support of those efforts, including recently announced tsa facilities at the wto. those who are among the 40 or so developing countries leading the way in implementing the tfa by announcing their so-called category a notifications. they are sending a powerful message. unfortunately commit a small -- wto membersto have placed this in jeopardy. to make sure this effort does not go to waste and that the potential of this new agreement are not squandered. we also need to address problems with infrastructure, hard and soft, from the roads that nbcc builds to the development of -- and ourd outraged trade and legislative support to
5:03 pm
double access to affordable, reliable electricity. we are focused on the deficit in hard infrastructure. and as usaid and the state department support trade and eliminating roadblocks both figuratively and literally, we are helping to improve africa's strop -- soft infrastructure. we recognize the need for capacity building, including the strengthening of laboratories, training of inspectors, said african farmers and manufacturers can better meet the agricultural and technical standards necessary to export their products to global markets. and as the secretary said, there is also a need to build human capacity. africa is on the path to become the largest contributor to the world workforce by 2015 -- by 2058 and that requires equipping the next iteration of african exporters with the skills they need to succeed. i was honored to participate in
5:04 pm
a panel on entrepreneurship at the young african leaders initiative here last week in washington. and i'm delighted that some of the incredibly talented participants will be here with us today. the african women's entrepreneurship program andyali are two examples of not just taking resources out of africa, but investing in capital in africa. and there is an incriminating -- an increased demand for agoa products, including working with and value chain. this is a whole government effort on our side and i know it can be really learning -- be bewildering and time to work with all of our different agencies. we will be working to create one-stop shop investment platforms that will work to bring advice, partnerships, and financing to agoa a partners.
5:05 pm
for areas in a fight in which the score might be strengthened, so the beneficiary countries can better utilize and diversify their exports. toall of you know, it falls congress to decide what changes ultimately will be made, but we in our review and your efforts to examine these questions can greatly inform congress. first, agoa will be strengthened by its reauthorization timeframe that is sufficiently long to ensure project ability for producers, consumers, and investors. acond, there may be rally -- value in revisiting the list of covered products under the program to see if we can add any new products. in 2006 for example, agoa was expanded to include 700 areas, mostly in textiles, which brought new markets in africa.
5:06 pm
the existing range of products eligible for duty-free treatment under agoa is already more extensive than any other u.s. preference program. almost all agoa beneficiaries benefits ande there are only 316 duty evil tariffs. -- dutiable i will be consulting closely with domestic stakeholders in the coming months. third, there may be ways to requirementsoa's to make the more flexible. these requirements are already very generous, including the broad third country fabric exception for apparel, but some limitations are main. removing limitations like those on a chelation of labor costs, or the percentage of u.s. content, could provide beneficiary countries greater
5:07 pm
flexibility and help integrate them into regional and u.s. supply chains. finally, it is important to 'sdate of goa -- agoa processes. we believe the criteria can be strengthened to better promote open trade and broad-based economic growth, for example, by resolving barriers to trade and promoting fundamental worker rights. be review process can also updated to allow for more effective enforcement, for example, by allowing partial and more timely withdrawal, rather than all or nothing withdrawal because it will affect the year following decision. even as we discussed these changes, we must also use today's meeting to renew discussion about the future of u.s.-africa trade and investment relations. as africa's relationships with other trading partners evolve and other programs take into
5:08 pm
account of emerging economies, we need to assess the impact of our relations on africa and churn out a path for future development. today, we launched the official campaign for agoa's renewal. it enjoys 58 -- rod-based and bicameral -- it enjoys broad-based and bicameral support. we will work with all of you to impact the promise of agoa for africa and the united states. let me turn to my friend, the honorable deputy chairperson of the african union. both in that position and the secretary general, he has been a long-standing supporter of agoa and has testified before congress many times and shared his ideas about how it can be approved also i look forward to hearing his opening remarks on behalf of the african union and beneficiary countries. thank you.
5:09 pm
>> thank you very much. ambassador michelson and well-done, president kim. the president, the african bank, the ministers, excellencies in the region and economic communities, ladies and gentlemen, first, we pay tribute to the united states government placeganizing this taking one year before it is expired, andalso for coinciding investing with the next generation. this prevents the next month opportunity to extend and him hunts -- and enhance the
5:10 pm
as mentioned by the ambassador. inception by congress and engagement by the administration and broad-based employment across africa, since 2000, it has been my wish to be an advocate for agoa. hence, like many in this room, i for --e of the potential as a catalyst for africa and u.s. engagement. we hope to build investment and trade between the u.s. and africa. as we seek to strengthen our reflect uponlet's
5:11 pm
that each experience in the past 14 years is building toward the future. this should be done within the context of africa that is aspiring to be tasteful, integrated, and prosperous, and based on inclusive growth. africa that will continue to be , and over theing thatthe case, a continent inspires good governance and respect for human rights, justice and human -- and rule of law. in order to a compass this, it must invest in children, young people, and in their health, education, skills, and technology to produce productive citizens and to give them a voice and participation in
5:12 pm
society. it is for this reason that africa is pursuing a skilled thousands in train these endeavors. any post 2015 u.s. africa cooperation must draw lessons from past remarks and build a new arrangement taking into account the current global economic environment. for example, unlike during the ago iten the first agoa was -- the first agoa was imagine a plan for trade and agenda. these are just examples.
5:13 pm
the milestones will be in economic sectors such as infrastructure, industrialization, science and technology, food and nutrition, security, and so on. it is in this context that agoa should be viewed. what have we learned from the implementation of the agoa since 2000? previous speakers have talked about what agoa has done as far as its impact on u.s. trade or in directing investment and job creation. it has grown from a .2 million in 2001 to 26 million in 2013. during this same time, the sectorance of the
5:14 pm
improved and so did foreign direct mint -- foreign direct investment. u.s. foreign direct investment increased from $9 billion in $25 billion in 2012. jobs in africa and in the u.s.. beenountless lives have touched and changed. we also recognize that we could have done more. that is why it is important to thee this experience on positive aspects of confronting the challenges. we appreciate what you, ,mbassador from an --froman have just said, and the
5:15 pm
commitment to look at supply-side constraints, it -- such as the need for capacity building. address on the need to specific trade provisions, such forligibility and support regional integration. particularly in the case 's, there is limited additional coverage over and .bove the general market access for a number of as tuna, sugar, tobacco [indiscernible] high tariffs are outside the limited tariff quotas.
5:16 pm
evident that the preference is not enough for africa to penetrate the global and supply-side system. [indiscernible] -- low productivity of labor. addressing these issues requires, among others, increasing investment into .frica addressing these challenges will enable africa and the u.s. to have a partnership with significant benefits for africa and the u.s. the eu and its member states ,ontinue to call for investment
5:17 pm
with emphasis placed on a reliable [indiscernible] that will complement the efforts and bring countries transformational change in their economies. support of integration efforts, especially on critical infrastructure will enable the speed of integration on the continent. plus the value of additional african exports, and provide adherence to the jointly agreed
5:18 pm
actions. the global trading system is undergoing significant change. the advent of trade agreements within the context of an onyx -- agendain development will affect the ability to enhance its share of global trade. it is therefore within the context of our partnership good to find ways to exchange notes on these important issues. in conclusion, the litmus test of the partnership would be in its ability to improve quality of life, including the safety and security of the people of the united states, africa, and the rest of the world. external risks and shocks we face, such as climate change, conflict, and other conditions, can be better managed through a dynamic partnership of equals
5:19 pm
bills on a common heritage, values, and aspirations. finally, let me quote an african proverb that says, "if you want to go fast, run along. if you want to go far, go together. -- go to gather." er."geth partnershiping a for future generations, which is what agoa is about. i thank you for your attention. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> we asked the question of whether we should invest in africa on facebook. let us know what you think.
5:20 pm
and some news of the day today, former white house press secretary james brady died after dealing with the number of health issues. he was nearly killed during an assassination attempt on president reagan in 1981 and became an ardent supporter of gun control. james pretty was 73 years old. members of congress have been tweeting about his life and career. illinois congressman brad schneider says this. california representative scott peters also tweeted. and new york senator kiersten gillibrand also posted. you can watch james brady in 22 appearances he made on c-span from the naming of the white house briefing room in his
5:21 pm
honor, to president clinton awarding him the medal of freedom. those and more at . >> tonight on the communicators, three members of congress talk about their technology legislation. in an opene internet, a free internet, even without government intervention. look at where the internet has come and is going in the future. this is all being done through the private sector. >> why would a team not want their team exposed -- their toducts, their brand exposed tens of thousands of people? we think the blackout rule is obsolete. took theo them -- first move and they will close finally at the end of this year. >> a bill that tries to address concerns over must carry carriage rules, over retransmission consent, it gives people a level footing it comes to negotiating with the broadcasters and the providers
5:22 pm
and the people trying to deliver that media to the consumer. it puts people on a loving place -- leveled langfield when it comes to those kinds of negotiations. ohio, newntative from york, and colorado. tonight at 8:00 eastern on the community caters -- on the communicators on c-span2. ofx the national association latino elected officials held its meeting in san diego this year. former attorney general alberto gonzalez spoke there about the republican party and the need for an immigration bill. >> my perspective is that congress -- i agree, that congress needs to vote on this. people -- other speakers have talked about, this security,nforcement, and financial issue. this is about america, about who we are as americans.
5:23 pm
i've heard republicans say, this president is only going to enforce laws he wants to. my perspective is, congress has a job to do. how the president does his job does not mean they should not be doing theirs. they ought to be doing their jobs. [applause] and both branches ought to be working together. and i know how hard this is. we could not get a dem with a republican congress. but that is why we elected these people to go there, to tackle the most difficult issues we have in the country. and they should be accountable. flex but you know, what your position is, it's so interesting to me -- >> but you know, what your position is, it's so interesting to me, because obviously there are those within the republican party who are just resisting. isre is the radio crowd that saying that you are rewarding people who have done illegal things. you are in a position of a civil
5:24 pm
war within the republican party over this issue. how do you see it playing out? >> i think in the end, my side -- will win. or it will be the end of the party. but the end of the party? flex yes -- >> the end of the party? >> yes. that's the way i see it. hispanics are growing in force and if they feel like the republican party does not have anything for them, that republicans are not going to win the white house. they will lose control of the house and senate. this is an important issue. >> some are marks from former out -- former attorney general alberto gonzalez. lastly, a house subcommittee held a hearing on marijuana use and safety while driving. members looked at several issues, including the challenge of creating federal standards for using recreational drugs.
5:25 pm
the hearing is an hour and 45 minutes. morning, i would like to welcome everyone to the committee on government and oversight reform, and our subcommittee hearing this morning. this is the subcommittee on government operations. welcome, ranking member mr. kreidler -- conley, and others who may join us. the title of this hearing is "planes, trains, and automobiles, operating while toned." this is, i believe, our fit hearing on the subject of the impact of changing laws -- fifth hearing on the subject of the impact of changing laws, and the increased use of marijuana in our society. and part of our charter is, the
5:26 pm
difference between federal and state laws and the relationships and a whole host of issues that deal with, again, federal and state issues. certainly, in our most recent history, there has probably been nothing that has invided a greater difference current federal statutes and in changing state and local statutes then the marijuana issue. the order of business will be with opening statements. i will start with mine.
5:27 pm
i ask unanimous consent, and without objection, that mr. conley be permitted to participate in today's proceedings. and other members who may join us. right now, there are a number of conferences going on around the hill. with that, after the opening fromments we will hear four witnesses. we will withhold questions until we've heard from all of our to the minutiaet after opening statements. at -- with that, let me begin. again, i have a -- an important responsibility to look at changing laws. this subcommittee has, in fact, been investigating the federal responders to state and local government legalization and change of laws relating to marijuana and examining the administration's sometimes thetic and inconsistent
5:28 pm
policies on marijuana. in fact, most of our proceedings since the beginning of the year have been based on a statement that the president made. he said that marijuana is not than alcohol. i think one of our first hearings was to bring in the office of national drug control policy, who differed with the president statement. we looked at that issue and we heard from the law enforcement agencies. the dea disagreed with that statement. thatwe saw the conflict the department of justice has issued with guidelines relating to enforcement. the u.s. attorney from colorado who testified about some of the problems, we heard from dea and were agencies and as we
5:29 pm
during one of the hearings, the district of columbia changed its and the tamping down of the fine of $25 for one ounce of byijuana and i illustrated holding up a fake joint for people. to entertain,d that would be the results of the $25 fine, and then i held up in the other hand a list of 26 charged withies enforcing conflicting law, and it does create a situation. today is very important, because ,aving chaired transportation
5:30 pm
you see the results of devastation, just for example on our highways. probably in the last several years we've had a quarter of a million american slaughter on our highways. think about that.
5:31 pm
it was running did 40,000. that is the talent he's. half of those fatalities are from alcohol or drugs. marijuana is still a schedule one narcotic, and more potent. we are going to have more people stoned on the highway. there will be consequences. we do have federal agencies, and we would hear from the department of transportation to see how they will deal with those. passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, and i don't know if we can get some of those charges to see the devastation, but the photos, aviation is another area. we having gotten into -- we haven't gotten into commercial. we will talk about that. these are civil aircraft. every one of these were involved with people impaired. the way we find out now if they were impaired wise in fact by testing the corpse blood. this are some are the results we have seen.
5:32 pm
the worst train incident we have had in recent memory, keep flipping that. this is the metrolink. 25 people killed. the engineer was impaired on marijuana. automobiles, again. i think we have one on automobiles. there are thousands of accidents that involve marijuana, a deadly combination of marijuana and other drugs taking lives. there are consequences to what is being done in our society. today, i want to focus the aspect of not only the number of crash victims, but also those who are the most vulnerable in this whole process.
5:33 pm
right now, listen to this. i'm 1999-2000 10 the number of crash victims of marijuana has jumped from 4% to 12%. that is as this has been kicking in. furthermore, the incidence of alcohol and marijuana is now 24 times more likely to cause an accident than a sober person. some of the studies, 27% of the seriously injured divers tested positive for marijuana. my major concern is the impact on the most vulnerable in our society. the trend is most troubling for our young drivers. most recently 1/8 grade school
5:34 pm
-- 1/8 high school seniors grade -- i'm sorry, one in eight high school seniors admitted to driving after smoking marijuana. 16% of drivers under age 21 years old tested positive for drugs, whereas only 7% of the same drivers tested positive for alcohol. as drunk driving fatallities have tripled, that slaughter on the highways is impacting no other group as much as our young people, and those under age 20 -- under the age of 25.
5:35 pm
as much as 14% of fatal or sustained tested positive for -- sustained injury drivers tested positive for thc in 2012. we don't have to have data to understand the full scope of the problem. data collection policies are generally testing only with drivers with fatalities. drivers who use marijuana do not exhibit the same intoxication evidence as those with alcohol. traditional field testing is not always effective to identify and remove intoxicated drivers from the road. we have no standard test for marijuana for drivers. there is no standard test. we don't have federal standards
5:36 pm
of limits of t h c, since not the federal level any level of -- since right now at the federal level any level of thc is illegal, a schedule one narcotic, and supposedly zero tolerance. but we have no way of testing that. currently there is no roadside breathalyzer for marijuana. technology is advancing. some have started to use a roadside oral test. this is one of those testing machines. it is used in europe. as i understand it, it takes a swap. i was going to swab the panelists. i thought i would not do that today. you can take a swab with this. it can tell you if anyone has used marijuana within 4 hours.
5:37 pm
we have no standard or acceptable test. we have no way of telling if people are impaired. most data we are getting right now is from fatalities. you either have to take them to a hospital for a blood or urine test, or the worst situation is to the morgue where we test their blood. in the past 10 years marijuana was a factor in the 50 accidents. i show the civil aviation. i haven't even shown what happened in the commercial market. we have 23 states with medical marijuana use, and 2 states who have knocked down most barriers.
5:38 pm
and more people will have marijuana ande of very little means of testing them. the national transportation safety board has investigated the different accidents and found that the use of thc in a number of these accidents, but all of their testing is done after the fact and usually, where a fatality is involved. the witnesses today will tell us what if anything the federal government is doing to combat drug impaired operation of any transportation. we have a host of notes the federal government takes responsibility over, the hay killer simple passenger cars,
5:39 pm
commercial the goals, cargo, rail, passenger and cargo, and of course aviation, civil and commercial. we will hear from christopher hart from the national transportation safety board, jeff michael from the national highway traffic safety administration, patrice kelly from the department of transportation office of drug and alcohol policy compliance, and mr. ronald flagel of the substance abuse and mental health administration. i look forward to today's further and continuing discussions on the issue that has a great impact on all of us and yield to the ranking member.
5:40 pm
>> thank you for holding the hearing. i am going to focus in on the automobile. i will particularly focus in on the automobile, but not to the exclusion of everything else. this hearing addresses an aspect of marijuana policy where i believe there is general agreement over the desired outcome, reducing the incidence of vehicle accidents from driving while under the influence of any drugs. across the political spectrum there is widespread opposition to allowing driving while under the influence. i think we can all agree it remains a national challenge. where differences emerge is over the most effective way to address this. according to the national survey on drug and health, drug use and health, 10.3 million people have admitted to driving while under
5:41 pm
the influence of illicit drugs in the past year. the cdc report that in 2010, 2228 people were killed and now were killed ine alcohol-related crashes, 31% of all traffic related deaths in the united states. the statistics are alarming in -- and unacceptable. our nation must continue reducing the incidence of any drug impaired deaths. a key component will be improving our knowledge base through better data and research. with respect to the folks on -- the focus of today's hearing there has been limited research conducted by the federal government addressing the marijuana usage and driving safely. the impairment is not -- the reports from the highway transportation safety
5:42 pm
the thcion shows that impairs performance. the impairment is not acceptable produced by many medicinal drugs and alcohol. marijuana intoxication is short-lived. peak acute effects following cannabis inhalation are achieved within 10-30 minutes with the effects dissipating quickly after an hour. accordingly, drivers retain influence over their performance -- retain insight in their performance and will compensate when they can, for example, by slowing down and increasing effort. as a consequence thc's adverse effects appear relatively small. meanwhile the national transportation safety board held a public forum to discuss the most effective data driven science-based actions to reduce access resulting from substance
5:43 pm
impaired driving. in 2013, it released a safety report entitled reaching 0, actions to eliminate alcohol impaired driving in which he reiterated a recommendation to common a common standard of -- to develop a common standard of practice for toxicology testing. scientific analysis has standardize the use of a rep -- of a breathalyzer and the 0.8% concentration limit to determine alcohol intoxication. he states beginning to implement marijuana decriminalization must act swiftly to address the fact there is no legal limit set for driving under the influence as there is with alcohol. field sobriety tests may be accurate at detecting -- and ineffective at detecting marijuana impairment.
5:44 pm
u.k., accuracyhe tests concluded that there is there is a strong correlation between cannabis those received and whether impairment was judged to be present. of course, anecdotes must not substitute for rigorous scientific data. that is why we must support further research to inform the development of an effective public safety policy. my friend, dr. fleming, and i had a discussion with one of our hearings, and we agree that has to be the basis for moving forward. it has got to be based in science. we need more of it. my concerns over the ineffectiveness of our federal policy of marijuana prohibition is no more of an endorsement of its recreational purposes use that opposing prohibition of alcohol is an endorsement for drunk driving.
5:45 pm
our nation proved with respect to the policies elated to the use of other potentially harmful substances that discouraging inappropriate use of drugs need not involve total prohibition and criminalization. i have long believed that the federal government governs best when it listens and learns from our states, which are the laboratories of democracy. those dates are undergoing a dash of those states are undergoing a -- those states are undergoing a great experiment with respect to the subject. we need to learn from their experience and hopefully emulate them and regulations and policies in the future that address use, appropriate use, medicinal purposes, and the issue of criminalization. thank you mr. chairman. >> i thank the gentleman to recognize mr. fleming. >> thank you. i would like to thank the chairman mica and others for allowing me to participate in today's hearing. i would like to thank the chairman for having this hearing
5:46 pm
that are so vital and important. it took centuries about all and -- of alcohol in our culture, and a new organization, mothers against drunk driving, to realize that we were losing americans wholesale by the tens of thousands as a result of driving under the influence about cuyahoga. -- of alcohol. it took us 400 years to figure out that tobacco was similarly killing tens of thousands of americans every year. as early as the early 1960's, -- or as recently as the early 1960's, there were commercials in which doctors were recommending certain types of cigarettes saying it was good for your throat. i worry we are not in the same situation in this case when it comes to marijuana. drunk driving is a serious
5:47 pm
problem according to statistics in the 2012 survey on drug use and health about 10.3 million people reported driving while under the influence of an illegal drug. marijuana's active ingredient is the most common drug found in drivers and crash victims alike. studies indicate between 4-14% of drivers involved in accidents had thc in their system. marijuana decreases a driver's response time, awareness, and perception of time and speed, which are necessary for safe driving. another concern is the combination of drugs and alcohol. whenever you hear this debate you often hear that marijuana is innocuous to begin with and it is either or. -- it is either/or.
5:48 pm
either someone smokes marijuana or they drink out of. -- drink alcohol. that is not the way it works. individuals who drive under the influence of marijuana have little inhibition for drinking beer and alcohol and other substances as well. smoking a joint or whatever it takes to get high or feel-good. the rocky mount high intensity drug trafficking area, which works with the white house national drug control strategy is collecting data on the impact of colorado's legalization of marijuana. the report indicated in 2000 six -- in 2006, colorado drivers testing positive for marijuana were involved in 28 percent of fatal drug-related vehicle crashes. that number increased to 56% by 2011. understand the in states that are decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana, certainly we know from ida, as marijuana
5:49 pm
nita, who has done some work on this, as marijuana is destigmatize, as a threat to use is reduced, use goes up and it finds its ways into homes, candies, cookies. one thing gets there, it finds its way into the brains of teens. we know from statistics it has a 9% addiction rate among adults. those who start as teens, the rate doubles to 1-6. it is important. this year's rocky mount and ain report on 2012 data is also very alarming.
5:50 pm
using data from the national highway safety administration for talent he analysis, this year's report due out in october was show that between 2007-2012 while the overall traffic for tallies decrease by 15%, over that same time, mayor wire related for tallies increased -- marijuana related fatalities increased 100%. earlier this year the university of colorado released a study confirming that colorado drivers are testing positive for marijuana. there's no hard and fast way to determine whether an individual is driving under the influence and it is yet to be established a uniform amount of marijuana which constitutes drunk driving. that is very important because in the case about the hall, when -- in the case of alcohol, you arrest someone and they have not been in an accident, you just got them under the influence, with so many episodes of that around, that person loses their license and they are taken off the road. that is not happening with
5:51 pm
marijuana. we don't have a way to do that yet. all driving under the influence is unquestionably a problem, it is concerning that pot smoking youth may have trouble finding a job. it's especially true in the transportation arena. the u.s. department of transportation requires mandatory drug testing on pilots, air traffic controllers, railroad employees and commercial drivers. that can include buses, 18 wheelers. anything that requires a cdl license. these individuals are responsible for numerous lives and it's critical that they are and remain drug-free. marijuana will also become more pervasive as states continue to embrace permissible laws on medical marijuana and the recreational use of marijuana and kids and youth will have easier access to a dangerous, a -- addictive drug. and back to the medicinal marijuana, there's no reason why
5:52 pm
we can't use components of marijuana for disease treatment. right now we already have a schedule three that can be used under monitoring and observation of physicians closely monitoring the dosage prescribed, and it can be done safely, just like hydrocodone. it has the same activity and benefit that the plant marijuana has. it is a synthetic thc. we have that already. there is some claim that there are oil extracts of cannabis that can be used to treat certain rare seizures in children. well, it has little or no thc activity. there's no reason why that -- and it's under fast-track fda approval right now -- there's no reason why that can be taken out as well. but there is no reason to the
5:53 pm
schedule or make legal marijuana which is now scheduled one for those purposes. all of those things can be done without reducing the schedule or to legalize marijuana plant itself. it's no surprise to you or anyone here that i am opposed to the legalization of marijuana. what is surprising is the new york times editorial board is fully supportive of the legalization of marijuana. i have two response pieces to the new york times that i would like to submit for the record. one from the white house office of national drug control policy, and another opinion piece by peter wiener published in the wall street journal on tuesday. legalization is not the answer, nor is it a prudent decision for america. marijuana remains a dangerous, highly addictive drug, even science will tell you that. >> without objection, both of those articles -- statements
5:54 pm
will be made part of the record. there being no further opening statement, members have seven days to submit opening statements for the record. now let me proceed and recognize our first panel. the first panel consists of christopher hart, the active chairman of the national transportation safety board. mr. jeff michael is the associate administrator for research and program development of the national highway traffic safety administration. ms. patrice kelly is acting director for the office of drug and alcohol policy and compliance at the department of transportation, and mr. ron fleagle is the director for the division of workplace programs at the center for substance abuse revenge and at the substance abuse and mental health administration.
5:55 pm
i welcome all of our panelists. this is an investigative and oversight subcommittee of congress. we do swear and all of our -- we do swear in all of our witnesses. if you will stand please, raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give before this subcommittee of congress is the whole truth and nothing but the truth? all of the witnesses -- the record will reflect, answered in the affirmative. welcome again. i gave ms. information on a -- i gave some this information a statistication on and i didn't realize it until after i said it. i want to clarify that for the record. i said nearly a quarter of a million people had been killed in the last dozen years on our highways. it's nearly a half-million people. think about that.
5:56 pm
half of those people died -- that's nearly a quarter of a million, with either alcohol or some substance in their system. i will get the exact numbers and will put them in the record, but i didn't give the rest of the story, as paul harvey would say. with that correction for the record, let me first welcome and recognize mr. hart. >> good morning chairman mica, ranking member calmly, and -- ranking member connolly, and members of the subcommittee. the subcommittee focus on federal marijuana policies affecting transportation is very timely. we have been working extensively for many years to address alcohol abuse by drivers which you have heard about in the opening statements. it still kills almost 10,000 people every year on our highways. now we are becoming more concerned that our investigations also illustrate
5:57 pm
the problems of marijuana use. there was a recreational boating accident in florida killed five, a day care van driver in memphis tennessee who was high and crashed, causing five deaths, and a railroad accident in chase maryland that killed 16 that has already been referred to. but we don't have a good idea of the number of drug-related transportation totality's. -- fatalities. as we ever, many states have authorized medical marijuana programs and two states have criminalized recreational use of -- have decriminalized recreational use of the drug. in addition, recent news reports have noted pressure to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level as well. perhaps most disturbing is evidence that marijuana use among teenage drivers is increasing and the perceived risk of their want use is decreasing.
5:58 pm
in 2013 we completed a year-long review of substance impaired driving which included drug use, and we concluded that there is not enough data on drunk driving. consequently we asked nhtsa and -- to establish guidelines. we understand are working on our recommendation. lack of data about drug impairment is also an issue in other transportation modes. investigators sometimes the evidence of drug use by pilots who are involved in accidents. so we decided it was time to look at this issue in greater detail. in september we will meet to discuss drug use and general aviation by examining toxicology testimony results on aviation pilots. we are missing important data on the role of illegal drugs and the public is written much unaware of important information about how illegal drugs may also
5:59 pm
-- how legal drugs may also affect her performance. we will examine drug use in general aviation as compared to trends in the u.s. population in general. information we obtained in the september reading will help -- meeting will help evaluate if there is a need for additional recommendations or other advocacy efforts on our part. fortunately, shifting state laws have not resulted in changes for commercial operators. the department of transportation has stated it continues to have a zero tolerance policy for drug use by commercial operators and the ntsb fully supports that policy. what is clear is that operator impairment laces the public in jeopardy. impaired drivers share the roadways with other drivers. impaired pilot sure the airspace -- share the airspace with other pilots. across all modes, many operators have passengers that may be placed at risk. too many people died on a roadways from alcohol
6:00 pm
too many people died before strong action was take tone combat it. there are still too many alcohol related deaths and every one of them is entirely preventable. hopefully we will not wait for more people to die before we take strong and decisive action. hearings like this will inform policy makers so effective law can be crafted, strong enforcement can be implemented in all modes of transportation and we look forward to working with you to draw more attention to this issue. again, thank you for inviting me to testify. i look forward to responding to your questions. >> thank you. we will withhold questions until we recognized everyone. now jeff michael with the national highway traffic safety administration. you are recognized. >> good morning chairman. i appreciate this opportunity to testify before you today on the national highway


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on